NEW YORK — A lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Panera Bread Co. alleging a “deceptive and fraudulent” labeling of its blueberry bagels.
Panera blueberry bagels “contain only trace amounts of real blueberries” and a “far greater proportion of imitation blueberry ingredients,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed March 30.
“Even upon purchasing and closely inspecting the product, a reasonable consumer cannot discern the imitation from the actual blueberry ingredients,” the lawsuit said, which was filed on behalf of plaintiffs including “the New York class” and “all other New York purchasers of the bagel.” “Plaintiff alleges that if he had ‘known that the (bagel) in fact contains only trace amounts of blueberries, he would not have considered it a blueberry bagel and would not have purchased it, or would have paid significantly less for it.’”
The plaintiff alleges that the blueberry bagels contain “blueberry bites” and “blueberry solids,” which are imitation blueberries, higher up on the ingredient list than “infused dried blueberries,” which are real blueberries.
The lawsuit states that language by Panera Co. intended to mislead consumers “into believing that the bagel’s blueberry content consists solely of real blueberries,” when in reality the bagels contain significantly more imitation blueberries than real blueberries. According to the plaintiff, a sign above the blueberry bagels at the Panera where he purchased the blueberry bagel read, “Food You Can Trust: We’re advocates for clean food. We’re committed to menu transparency. We’re dedicated to having a positive impact on the food system.”
Panera has not responded to a request to comment on the lawsuit.
The US District Judge assigned to the case, Vernon S. Broderick, has dismissed the first amended class action complaint due to a failure “to allege any further injury.”